Harvest of Hope raises $163K for Sequim cancer center

The Olympic Medical Center Foundation raised a record $163,000 at its 19th annual Harvest of Hope hybrid event presented by the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance on Sept. 25, with funds going towards services and equipment for the OMC Cancer Center in Sequim.

In addition to monies being raised for a new linear accelerator for radiation treatment, attendees contributed $30,000 to fund the Cancer Center’s Patient Navigator program that provides basic living expenses for low income cancer patients.

Foundation representatives presented the Rick Kaps Award – named for the former Sequim High School basketball coach and educator who passed away from cancer in 1998 – to long-time community, foundation and OMC Cancer Center donors Jack and Terri Harmon, honoring their efforts to contribute to cancer and overall health care on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Dana Lawson was the event’s cancer survivor speaker. An amputee, cancer survivor and a victim of domestic abuse who has overcome myriad of challenges, she is the founder and executive director of Nature’s Academy, a nonprofit STEM and nature education organization, and founder and CEO of The Lawson Alliance, SPC.

After a career in marine science, she encountered a major stumbling block in 1999 when she was diagnosed with a rare cancer, which caused tumors to grow in her right leg, and eventually led to it being amputated.

“She is an extraordinary example of what you can accomplish once you set your mind to it,” foundation executive director Bruce Skinner said. One of her most recent goals is that she finished the 26.2 mile North Olympic Discovery Marathon last June.

Held as a hybrid event, Harvest of Hope had a combination in person and virtual audience.

The linear accelerator the foundation is helping to fund will be used for radiation treatment, event organizers said, “ensuring that the Cancer Center will remain as a state of the art facility. “

In 2011, the cancer center installed equipment that was the first of its kind in Washington state, and only the fourth install in the country.

The foundation has now contributed more than $2.5 million for the center.

Those interested in more information or in making a donation to benefit local healthcare can call the OMC Foundation office at 360-417-7144 or email them to bruce@omhf.org.

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